Darfuri women's rights activist receives Award
The Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice congratulates Ms Hawa Abdallah Mohammed Salih as one of the ten recipients of the 2012 International Women of Courage Awards. Hawa is well known to the Women's Initiatives through our gender justice programmes in Sudan and following threats made against her and other women's human rights defenders. At that time, the Women’s Initiatives assisted the internal relocation of Hawa and five other activists.
Together with nine other women's rights advocates, she received the Award from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US first lady Michelle Obama on 8 March 2012. The International Women of Courage Awards are conferred by the US State Department to women worldwide who have shown bravery and leadership in advocating for women's rights, often at great risk to themselves.
Honouring Hawa Abdallah, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: "Hawa, Human Rights Activist, thank you for giving voice to the women and children of Darfur and for your fearless advocacy for the rights of all marginalised Darfuris. And we hope and pray with you that peace will finally come to Darfur."
Hawa Abdallah is a well-known women's rights activist who also worked as a language assistant with the United Nations–African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). She has experienced different forms of harassment, including threats from and close monitoring by the Sudanese national security, and has been arrested twice (in April 2009 and May 2011) by Sudanese authorities because of her activities as an advocate for women's human rights inside Abushok camp for Internally Displaced People (IDP) in North Darfur. On both occasions, she was tortured while in detention.
The Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice congratulates Hawa on her award which recognises her continuous efforts towards the improvement of the status of women IDPs in Darfur, her frontline activities in defense of the rights of women IDPs, and her courage in speaking out about the miserable conditions in which women live, their daily suffering and the harassment they are subjected to both within and outside of the IDP camps.
Read the comments made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others at the Award Ceremony here
View pictures of the event here
Read more about Hawa and the advocacy for women IDPs in Darfur here